How Many Coats of Paint Do You Need For A Nightstand?

  • By: Artistic Bees
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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You want to paint your nightstand. But here’s the problem. You don’t actually know how to do it. What paint should you use? And how many coats of paint do you need for a nightstand to get that perfect finish? Well, in this article I will talk about everything you might need to know about the topic.

The number of coats really depends on the type of paint you are using. So, it is not easy to just state a certain amount. For different paints like polyurethane, water-based acrylic, and lacquers, you will need different coats of primer, color, and clear coats.

In this article, I will explain how many coats you need for each type of paint. I will also tell you how to ensure that you have applied the right coats of paint for your nightstand. So, for a complete understanding of how to color your nightshade, please keep on reading till the end.  

Finished nightstand

Why Do Painting Nightstands Need Multiple Coats?

A single coat of paint is not nearly enough for adding that store-quality shine to your furniture. You usually need to add a number of primers, colors, and clear coats to achieve that.

And not only that, more coats mean more protection. It will increase the durability of your paint and make sure you will have a good few years before you’ll need to paint your nightstand once again.

More coats will also protect your furniture as well. It will add a thick protective layer over your nightstand keeping it beyond the reach of any moisture or termites. This without a doubt increases the longevity of your furniture.

Different Coats For Different Kinds of Paint For Your Nightstand

Different categories of paint use different coats. So to find out if the number of coats for your nightstand is correct or not you can see these examples.


You should not apply this paint too thickly. This is because this kind of paint is already very tough and durable and can withstand extreme temperatures.

If you want to use this paint for your nightstand you should apply 2 coats of primer, 2 color coats, and 3 clear coats.

Water-Based Acrylic

This paint is a fast-drying one that is made of pigments submerged in an acrylic emulsifier. You should remember that acrylic paint dries within ten to thirty minutes.

But don’t be tempted to apply a new layer before the previous one has dried. You should apply 2 coats of primer, 4 color coats, and 3 clear coats for this kind of paint. 


 If you do not understand this paint clearly it can be a little confusing. You may notice that on the label of the paint, it is written “ten light coats”.

Do not take this literally and paint ten coats immediately in one day. Here, you should try to follow the same instructions as Polyurethane but with transparent lacquer, you can apply one then apply the next coat after one day. 

How To Paint Your Nightstand?

You may think that you’re ready to paint your nightstand now but before you do this, you should keep in mind that not a lot of coats are required to do this.

Secondly, even before touching the paint, you should clean and prepare your nightstand. Then sand it and make sure you do it evenly. Then, you should remove the old hardware and drill new holes if you think it is necessary.

Now, moving on to the coats of paint. Firstly, you should apply a primer. This can help ensure that the paint has a base layer so that it does not crumble or crisp over time.

Then, you should apply a color coat. This can be in any color or category you want but do not go overboard with the coloring process.

Finally, you should apply the clear coat. You must remember that this application varies from paint to paint as different categories of paint determine how many layers of the clear coat should be applied. But I would generally advise you to keep the clear coat in the middle range between too thick and too thin. 

How To Ensure You Have Got the Right Amount Of Paint?

You might want to ensure that your painting is done perfectly now. To do this, try to apply these tricks when applying your second coat.

Healing Time

You must remember that depending on just touch alone is not enough for you to get your nightstand ready for the finish coat.

Try to keep in mind that each coat needs some time to set and this depends on the kind of paint. Latex paint needs two hours while oil-based paints can even need up to 24 hours.

Treating The Material

You should not leave your brushes or paint rollers left out in the open because they can dry. Then it can be hard to use the applicator for a second coat properly.

So you should try to cover your painting tools with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator.

System of Painting

If you want to ensure that your paint is even, try to apply the color coat in the same pattern as the base coat.

You can even try coating on all edges. After you have done this you can use a roller to paint a big W. You can fill this in by rolling in both upwards and backward manner to get an even spread of color.

Consistency of Color

You have to remember that paints that are very dark in color can often settle at the bottom of the pant can while not being used.

So you should try to stir the paint before pouring it down on a tray to load a roller. This can give you an even distribution of color.

Problems With Not Using The Correct Coats Of Paint

You can keep in mind that many problems arise with not using the right number of coats of paint for your nightstand. That is why it is important to apply the perfect amount. 

Cracking and Clumping

You may notice that sometimes vein-type lines appear through a coat of paint and they grow deeper into flakes.

You may suffer from these if insufficient preparation is made. It can happen when the paint is applied too thinly or too heavily. I will advise you to fix these clumps by removing the cracks, sanding, and repainting.


This is when the paint scrapes off especially due to application and moisture. If you want to avoid these, then try to improve the ventilation of the room.

You should also know that it can be almost absolutely prevented by sanding and priming before putting on the paint.

Alligator Skin

You may sometimes notice that your paint has patterns that look like alligator skin. It begins as a light wrinkle and then develops many rectangular cracks. This can happen due to temperature fluctuations and loss of elasticity.

I will advise you to avoid these by scraping, using chemical removers, rinsing, drying, and repainting.


So you can see that it is important to know what types of paint are most suitable for your nightstand before actually painting it first. You should also remember the number of coats of paint and how they vary according to the categories of paint.

I have suggested you remember how to ensure the right amount of coats of paint for your nightstand. Moreover, I have also informed you about the problems, which can arise when not using the correct coats of paint for your nightstand. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope this was helpful!